Although my last weekend-getaway had been planned long ago, my friend Lena and I didn't know what great time we chose to visit one of my favorite Austrian cities: Graz. We always love visiting this place as its old town is just beautiful and Styrian restaurants are the best. But last weekend it was even better than usually: there was the Klanglicht Festival going on. Parts of the city were lit (literally) and there was so much going on, especially in the evening.
But let's go back to the beginning: Lena's Christmas present for me was a 4-course-lunch at the Schlossberg Restaurant on top of Graz - and not only did we have a fantastic surprise meal, but also a great view. It took a while to get there, as we decided to walk all the steps up instead of taking an elevator or the train that goes up the hill, but it was worth it. Oh and regarding the meal: don't ask me what the appetizer was, but it was good. The soup was something creamy - a garlic cream soup maybe? The main dish was light pieces of shoulder cut beef with sweet potates and the dessert was the perfect piece of cake served in a hot vanilla sauce. Sounds yummy, right? It was!
We then strolled through the city and found an outdoor event in one of the parks: Schlagergarten Gloria in the Volksgarten. "Schlager" is some kind of German/Austrian hit music that is a mix between pop, swing and country with some rock'n'roll elements and although I usually don't listen to music like this, the whole atmosphere was just so catchy that we decided to put my scarf on the ground and just relax there. Children were running around, older couples dancing around, drinks everywhere. What a perfect afternoon!
As it got colder outside, we decided to warm up at the apartment we stayed in and then had enough energy to go out and catch the Klanglicht shows. I still can't really explain what it is that we saw, it was just a whole lot to process. Illuminated balloons, optical illusions on the floor, lit chandeliers in the middle of the city surrounded by speakers that told stories, Swan Lake music - it was all just very hard to grasp - but worth seeing for sure!
We ended the night at Seasons, a "Bowle"-bar in the center of Graz. Bowle is yet another German word and is some kind of cold fruit punch/ wine cooler that is especially common to drink in summer. The bar itself was the perfect choice as it was really cozy, not too loud, amazing (& amazingly cheap) drinks and it had a smoke-free zone (which is not always the case in Austria).
The next morning we only had a light breakfast at Operncafé because we wanted to keep space in our stomachs for our favorite restaurant: Die Herzl. After going for a walk we had lunch there on their upstairs patio and once again, I bought myself the "Steirer Schnitzel" - a typical Austrian meal but with a Styrian touch, namely more pumpkin seed oil.
And with this great lunch, another weekend came to an end, but Graz will always be a place that I can come back to with great pleasure!!